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Australia asks US to speed up case against Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] Australian attorney general Philip Ruddock has asked the US to expedite proceedings against Australian detainee David Hicks [AFP report], the only Australian still held at Guantanamo Bay. Hicks [Fair Go for David advocacy website] was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and suspected of working with Al-Qaeda. Ruddock and Australia's ambassador to the US say they want to avoid another case like that of Mamdouh Habib, who was held for three years then released without charges in January. Habib recently appeared at an anti-war rally [Sydney Morning Herald report] to call for Hicks' release. Hicks' father has come out in support [Melbourne Age report] of changes to detainees' legal rights [New York Times report] at Guantanamo reportedly under consideration by high-level Bush administration and military officials.

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